Maybe Mephistopheles was a bad idea after all…, November 23, 2003
Reviewer: Athulan Vijayaraghavan(Austin, TX)
You know things are going bad for Gussie (Agustus Fink-Nottle) when Bertie steps in to lend a able hand in his affairs..
The premise of this ridiculously funny book is simple, Gussie has fallen in love with Madeline Basset, friend of Bertie’s cousin Angela, who (Angela) has quarelled with her lover and Bertie’s longtime friend (the episode at the Drones notwithstanding) Tuppy Glossop over the matter of the latter not acknowledging the former’s tryst with a shark at Cannes. Simple enough right? Take all these people and confine them in a country house, add a liberal dashing of Aunt Dahlia and that man of intellect Jeeves, not to mention a few assorted cooks and uncles, and you have a tale of horror (for Bertie) or a tale of absolute joy for the rest of us.
When helping convey Gussie’s love to Madeline, Bertie convices Madeline that he loves her too. So when Madeline falls out with Gussie, she comes running to Bertie, who would rather she not. Tuppy, is also convinced that some low-lying snake has stolen Angela from him, and thinking that this l.l.s is Gussie. Gussie, meanwhile, to brace himself for the gruelling task of presenting the prizes in the Market Snodsbury school (for which he is down at Brinkley Court) tanks up on alchohol, and threatens to sully the Wooster name in a gathering of Market Snodsbury’s finest. When the going gets tough, the tough ring for Jeeves. Can the man save the hour and untangle this absolute mess?
This is one of Wodehouses’s finest Jeeves books. I say that in a different way in every review of mine, but I cant help it. The man is so good! If you cannot read this book in its entirety (shame on you!) just read the description of Gussie presenting the prizes. That one chapter will brighten your day, suffuse you in a radiant light of good cheer and make you feel that life is one great glad song.
Don’t miss this book. It’s an absolute ringer!